Watch List – February 5 – 11, 2024: “Zone” of “Poor” “Clones”

Television

Abbot Elementary

”Dreamers are the only people that can bring about a different reality.”

Thanks, Barbara, I needed that.

You know what I else I got from this first episode of “Abbott Elementary” that I was not expecting, nor was I prepared for?

Lance from “The Other Two”! Man, I couldn’t have anticipated a better match. Two things I love, up on my screen.

The Americans (Hulu)

This week I want to talk about two things about the series, both actresses. One which caused me to avoid watching this show and the other, the final straw that caused me to finally watch this show. (I’m glad I did. I’m liking it so far. It’s a solid drama/thriller – with a surprise Margo Martindale.)

Okay, so I might have mentioned before that I avoided watching this show for a long time. The reason for that is because I had a hard time seeing Keri Russell as anything other than ‘Felicity’. I didn’t even watch ‘Felicty’ regularly, so I don’t even know why my brain did that to me.

HOWEVER, Keri Russell is absolutely incredible in this show. She is nothing more or less than Elizabeth, her character. She’s a chameleon in all the ways, from body movement to makeup and hair (which I know she has help with). I can see her internal struggles and I am blown away by her acting ability and will have to go back and watch everything I’ve missed because of that dumb thing my brain did to me.

Now, on to the reason I began watching this show in the first place.

This motherfucker right here. You might remember me complaining about her annoying ass while we watched “The Walking Dead: Worlds Beyond”. Her character name was Huck and I thought she was the worst actress ever.

So I did what any neurodivergent human would do and I peeped her IMDB. I saw she was in a few things here and there, nothing really notable to me. My brain kind of wrote her off as an actress just getting her start and feeling her way in the industry.

Then I saw she did a 42 episode stint on “The Americans”, which is widely regarded as a *very good show*. That made me curious. Curious enough to watch it, obviously.

And despite some little quibbles here and there (she missed casual cigarette smoking day), she’s knocking her role out of the park. I’m interested in her character and looking forward to seeing what she does next.

Here is how she looks in “The Americans”:

It’s set in the 80s and they are nailing the fashion. Sweater game is A+.

Mickey’s Spy Critiques

  • If you have a prisoner fella in a secret location, it’s probably a good idea to put up some screens or something around them so they see as little detail about the place as possible.

Also, I have not mentioned this yet, but the theme song is a certified banger.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Max)

I love spending time with Meatwad. I feel like I laugh out loud at lease once per episode.

The Traitors (Peacock)

Season 2 – New cast reacts:

  • PAVARTI – !!!!
  • AND SANDRA – !!!!
    • Sandra’s daughter is on the season of Aussie Survivor we are watching with Barb.
  • I don’t recognize anyone else yet
  • I hope there is someone from Below Deck, because I enjoyed watching that Below Deck person play last time
  • CT – the challenge looks like he should have played the lead role in this book I love called “The Tender Bar”
  • Janelle & Dan from Big Brother – no idea, but I have a BB expert that I can ask.
  • Alan Cumming is impeccable
  • I love the way he says “Dollars”
  • He is having the most fun with this
  • Is that Trishelle?! OMG that season is what made me stop watching The Real World
  • Getting good vibes from Phaedra
  • Oh, this John guy seems like a try hard – but a politician, makes sense
  • Ok, yes I love Phaedra.
  • Johnny Bananas is a no from me, dawg
  • Maks from Dancing with the Stars! I love how varied this cast is

Okay, now I will write normally about this. Ahh the traitor picks are A+. I’m excited to see how this all unfolds.

I don’t know if it is because I’m settled into the rhythm of this show or what, but season 2 is slapping and I’m only two episodes in. This is the closest to the Mole I think of any competition reality show I’ve watch in recent history. And that is including the terrible Mole reboot.

MY BELOW DECK BITCH IS BACK!!!! I cannot tell you how happy I am. I love the way she shakes things up.

Clone High (Max)

Season 2 of the new stuff just dropped y’all. It still makes me so happy. Like, I love seeing niche things getting reboots, especially when the exact same level of care goes into it.

The ending leaves me dying for another season, though.

Rick & Morty – Season 7 (Max)

The voices are good! I loved getting a kind of Jerry-centric episode. I feel such a kinship towards him. I mean, I must, I have a Jerry-related tattoo.

Schitt’s Creek (Hulu)

I watched my way through all of the Welcome to Flatch that I have a available so I moved onto another wind down comfort show.

I love the Roses so much, but for me Stevie is where my heart lies the most.

I feel and relate to every single bit of her awkwardness.

Australian TV

The Amazing Race: Australia

I am still loving this. I love Bo talking with the people waiting at the pit stop. He’s so endearing! He’s a solid host, more open to adventure than Phil somehow. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Phil, but Bo gets down to the competitors level in a way Phil doesn’t.

The reason we started watching the show is gone, but that’s okay, there are still contestants left that I like. In fact there is only on single person who annoys me. Not even a whole team! Wild.

Season 9: Titans vs. Rebels

Y’all. I’m INTO this now. There’s no George, Simon or Shonee… But there is Feras, Mark and the V team. Also Robbie is growing on me in a weird way.

Mickey has been watching along with me on the days he didn’t work and I’m so delighted when he discovers something about it that I love.

he turned to me during a challenge the other day and said, ” It is so much more wholesome” and I beamed with happiness.

He has also taken the same delight in watching JLP indicate who’s turn it is to vote. Look, I love Jeff Probst and all, but Jonathan LaPaglia is a more human host. Comparing the two, Jeff is so much meaner to the cast.

I find that same comparison to be true as a whole for Australian Survivor versus American Survivor. If you want to hear more of our thoughts on the new season – listen to the pod.

Movies

The Zone of Interest

This movie honestly belongs in an art museum as part of an exhibit. I guess it would also work in a history museum.

I’m so glad I went to go see this is the theater. I don’t think sound design has ever been this important to a film. The first few minutes are nothing but sounds on a black screen. It went on so long, some lady in the front row got up to say something.

then the picture began. I understood what Jonathan Glazer was doing immediately. He was establishing the sound and the horror surrounding the sound as it’s own character.

Only if you understand this, does the film work on all the levels it was meant to. It was bone-chilling, from beginning to end.

Especially chilling is the fact that something quite similar is happening right now in other parts of the world.

Here is a summary of the movie from experts:

“The commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, and his wife, Hedwig, strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden next to the camp.”

The music was sparse and jolting and it tickles me to no end that the composer is Mica Levi, who also did the music for “Zola”, another movie I adore.

The use of simple blank screens a few times (not just at the beginning) was a good move, reminding the viewer of the horrors that are just out of sight.

I’m interested in other’s reactions to this film, so I’ve done a decent amount of reading about it. It is unsettling that some folks don’t seem to make the connection to the sounds and the background action, which are the most important characters in the movie.

But, then again, that sounds a lot like real life.

I do wonder if David Lynch had any sorts of feels at the end.

Poor Things

I immediately and wholly fell in love with Bella Baxter. She, and this entire film are filled with so much life.

getting the opportunity to watch someone else so open to literally everything got me so hype. I don’t want it to end but I also don’t want a sequel.

This is just one of thirst fictional movie worlds that I want to movie inside for a long time. And there was little to no CGI! I am loving this trend so much.

Cause it didn’t need it. There were surrealistic aspects of it, but I think the realness of them made them feel the right kind of surreal, if that makes sense. I feel like digital surreal feels the same and it’s somewhat homogenous.

Like, I know Emma Stone has already won an Oscar and that there are so many amazing performances this year in the Best Actress category. She has created something so special in Bella though. She touched me more than any other nominee in the category.

I’d love to see Lilly Gladstone win for her stunning achievement. I’d also be a huge fan of Sandra Hüller winning for her electric performance in “Anatomy of a Fall”, switching between languages when it suited her all willy nilly like.

But Bella is a character of a decade and should be recognized. I normally get annoyed when a good character gets mistaken for a good performance (looking at you Jacki Weaver). This character would be nothing without Emma Stone to bring her to life. Bella would have been a caricature of what she is. Emma did her just right.

Ugh this year’s Oscar picks are gonna be so hard.

There are literally 5 movies I’d be happy to see win Best Picture this year.

And as much as I love Barbie. It is not one of them.

Poor Things *is* one of them, though.

I won’t forget about Bella Baxter for a long while. And I also don’t want to.

Gymnastics

2021 US Gymnastics Championships (FlipNow)

Chelsie Memmel is back after having multiple children and is in her 30s and wow, is it inspiring. The announcers still won’t shut up about Simone Biles, though. I get the vibe from Simone that she doesn’t like that much spotlight too much. I mean, yeah, of course she likes it, but I think she’d prefer to share an equal amount of spotlight with the other talented competitions.

The way it is now, at the beginning of each meet, they just flash quick pics of the other gymnasts and then spend 5 -10 uninterrupted minutes talking about Simone Biles. There’s more to the sport than that, y’all!

AND NOW THAT’S ALL I’M TALKING ABOUT.

This competition, I’m all about watching the rise of Shilese Jones. There’s no Morgan Hurd (that I’ve seen), so Shilese is IT for me.

I legit get some tears every time Chelsea Memmel lands something. Her smile is incredible. I love seeing someone believe in and celebrate themselves in such a pure way.

Ooh, Morgan Hurd is here!! Yay! I hope they show her for more than one routine! (probably not, because this is the second rotation and I’m just now seeing her. She just had two more elbow surgeries – the sixth and seventh of her career.) She did not make it past night one, unfortunately.

Okay, I cried at Chelsea Memmell on night two. She fell off the bars twice and didn’t even finish her routine… just waved to the crowd after her second fall. It came off as really classy.

Suni Lee is SO GOOD and it’s sad that her greatness in this competition is overshadowed by Tim Daggett and crew comparing literally every other gymnast to Simone Biles. I love Simone, but come on. You saw my rant above!

Like, Suni Lee will do a double twisting Urchenko or whatever, and do so flawlessly. Tim Daggett’s commentary: “Excellent score, but when Simone Biles does it, it’s a triple!” WHY DO YOU NEED TO NAME DROP HER THERE, TIM?!

One thing I have noticed in this post-quarantine era of gymnastics is that Nastia Liukin is more likely to speak up and tell Tim when he is wrong or redirect him from something annoying he was saying. She’s really settling into her announcer role and I hope this talk back escalates.

Next up is the 2021 Olympic trials (some of my favorite gymnastics to watch) and then THE OLYMPICS!!!!!

Other

Super Bowl (Commercials)

Hello, we found out who won Best Picture and Best Actor at the Sportsball awards. We took some notes. Here is a selection:

  • The Jennifer Coolidge commercial about having an existential crisis was A+. Couldn’t be bothered to remember what product it was for, though, so it didn’t really serve its purpose as a commercial
  • Why are there so many captains? If we had that many captains at SCHS, there would have been, like, one scrawny fella on the sidelines, sad because he is the only non-captain on the team.
  • I kept roasting the coach from SF because he reminded me of Kendall Roy in the bad way.
  • Michael CeraVE! I have been watching these hints unleash and unfold on the clock app and it is so satisfying to get a payoff.
  • Why did Tiesto drop out of the DJ gig?
  • “Twisters” – when this preview came on I was actively begging for it to be a sequel and not a remake. (It is a sequel, I think).
  • Where can we watch the Nickelodeon broadcast?
  • I learned these two football things:
    • Rush Contain
    • A team can refuse a penalty
  • I love Poppi but their commercial is bad.
  • ”Save the circles for the replay, bro”
  • The definition of “juke” in sports is to make a sham move
  • Some announcer said this game “lived up to the hype”. It did not. It was a snooze fest until the fourth quarter.
  • I have been reading a bunch of reddit lately and came to one of two conclusions about Beyoncé:
    • She would be announcing a residency in Vegas, paid for by Verizon
    • She would be announcing a new album and it’s county
  • I did pretty good I think.
  • We noted 11 Taylor sightings, some with Ice Spice, some with Blake Lively!

Now, I was very put off by the way Taylor’s boyfriend verbally and physically assaulted his coach, someone I thought he had love and respect for. It’s not a good look and doesn’t bode well for a future relationship. Please be careful, Taylor. A lot of impressionable humans are watching you.

I don’t think this one is lasting long, though. I think Isaw her get the ick at the after game when he was yell singing “Viva Las Vegas”.

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